Skip to main content
9:30 pm
hopefully your minds are fresh and excited for the day. i am delighted to be here to deliver the opening remarks for this very important conference. take a professor blight for that warm introduction. i'm humbled by the recognition of printed atlas but price -- of the frederick douglass booker prize -- book prize. thise been working on issue. i let investment-banking 12 years ago and started -- left investment banking 12 years ago and started researching. time -- directly document the people in forms of servitude in bondage and gathering data. i have just come back from asia on yet another research trip. after that, i now comprehensively documented the
9:31 pm
cases of more than 1,300 caught in various forms of modern-day slavery. there is information and data i will share with you based on this research in cases i have documented. you can still challenge me and ask questions. the focus of this conference really could not be more important or timely. we have a diverse away -- array of individuals on the panel. we are all seeking to better understand and tackle this issue of slavery more effectively. what is slavery in the modern era? how does it relate to past forms of slavery? do we still have slavery today or have a corrupted and sensationalize this term for other means and ends? these are some of the questions i hope we will be able to tackle this weekend. i hope my remarks this morning will help frame this conference
9:32 pm
as well as these questions as i take a brief look at slavery across the centuries and even look to the future and predict what we might see in the years to come. let us start by going back a few centuries to a phenomenon all of you will most likely be familiar with. that is of course the north atlantic slave trade. i spent some time in nigeria documenting victims of human trafficking, challenging and terrific scenarios. caught up in a culture of poverty, oppression, organized crime during -- crime. men, women, boys, and growth. i took a visit to a town about two hours west of the capital lagos. here the portuguese built 510 years ago when the first slave trading outpost on the west african coast. that is the building.
9:33 pm
obviously there is a different route on it. that is the same structure from five centuries ago. records show more than half a million west africans were brought into this building and then take it out to the beach where they were taken into large seafaring vessels and the course taken to the americas. more than half a million. it is important to note that just as many of not more people were taken the other way. the north atlantic trade in slaves get a lot of attention but the asia-pacific trade gets much less attention. many people, including west africans, were taken the other way, especially after the passage of the 1833 slavery abolition act in england which excluded the territories of the east india trading company. south asia and india became a new source of trafficked slaves.
9:34 pm
the used on the labor and that of the contract as a way to avoid deeds of sale of human beings which had been outlawed. all that to say, huge movement of people across centuries in all kinds of directions. some know quite a bit about, some we have studied less. how does this relate to what is going on today? i want to start to answer that question by reading to you briefly two narrative's prefers comes from someone i know, he wrote a remarkable text and i would encourage everyone to read it called the interesting narrative of the life of equaino, published in 1789. he was promised africa, born in benin, traffic off, sold
9:35 pm
into slavery trips. but still got his freedom, came back. he became a pivotal figure in the british abolition movement. he wrote his narrative. i want to read a piece of that. he writers, " the first opted that saluted my eyes was the sea and a slave ship. which was then riding an anchor and waited for cargo. these filled me with astonishment which soon converted to terror. i was immediately handled and tossed up to sea if i were found by some of the crew. i was persuaded i had gotten into a world of bad spirits and they were going to kill me. their complexions being so different from ours, their long hair and the language they spoke which is very different from any i had heard, united to confirm me in the tripoli. such were the horrors of my views and fears that if 10,000 calls had been my own, i would
9:36 pm
have free the parted with all of them to let exchanged like condition with that of the meanest slaved in my country. at last, when the ship we were in got all of her cargo, they made ready with many fearful noises. we are all put under the deck. so that we cannot see how they managed the vessel. this discipline and was the least of my soro. the stench of the whole was intolerably low sum that it was dangerous to remain there for any time. cargoat the whole ship's were confined together, it became pestilential. the closest -- closeness of the place and heat -- each had scarcely room to turn itself. almost suffocated us. this produced copious perspiration's.
9:37 pm
air singh became unfit for respiration. -- the air soon became unfit for restoration. many died, falling victim. this wretched situation was aggravated by the calling of the chain's and the filth of the tubs into which the children often fell. the streaks of the women and groans of the dying renders the whole thing almost inconceivably." this was remarkably potent language describing what it was like to beat traffic into a slave ship. now i will read to you briefly pump a case i documented two years ago in bangladesh. someone i call mustafa. bangladesh and sri we are very poor and it is very
9:38 pm
difficult to find work -- and the desk. bangladesh. we are very poor and it is very difficult to find work. i did not have funds so i took along which they said i could be paid for my wages once i am working. after some months, but given document and the agents deranged trouble for us by ship to kuala lumpur. the ship left. more than 20 were put inside the container at the bottom of the ship. it was part of the were provided torch's. we were only allowed out of the container from a one hour for toilet. otherwise, we had to stay inside all the time. it was very hard and the smell was very bad. if we had to use the toilet inside the container, there was a small budget. most of us became very sick. i think it was maybe nine days to reach koala lumpur.
9:39 pm
there we were taken to dormitories with more than 200 men. we slept on mac 3 each morning at 4:00, we were taken to the construction site -- we slept on mats. each morning at 4:00 we were taken to the construction site. if we did not work hard enough, the bosses would beat us. we have to ask permission to urinate or they would beat us. we were only given to meals each day then taken back inside the dormitory. i did this work for seven months and did not receive in the reaches -- wages. a mentally the police arrested me and i was supported. -- eventually the police arrested and i was taken away. notice the difference is. -- the similarities. i have got a master slide here
9:40 pm
drawn from the data i've gahtered. -- gathered. i have put some general trends, all of which have its actions -- all of which have exceptions. in the old world, there were long, expensive attorneys. it took weeks to traverse the scene of matter where you were going. today he can move in a short time frame. in old world, there was a limited opportunity to monotype exploration -- exporloitation of slaves. people are exported today in dozens of places. i have gathered in extent the amount of data -- an extensive amount of data.
9:41 pm
the cost of a slave 20 years ago was between 4900 and $5,500. there is a wide variance. you might have a slate had sold for the equivalent in today's dollars of $10,000 or more. in the americas. there also document in bengal and arabia of people being sold for less than a cup of tea. that was centuries ago. then people were born into servitude to read what is the cost of that? not too much. the waited average cost has stopped. today the average is around $440 for bonded labor, around $230. for victims of commercial sexual exploitation or traffic into that condition, a little more than 1900 dollars. wide variance. you can still have people born
9:42 pm
into bondage and server to today and the victim of sex trafficking in western europe sold for $10 or more. these are the averages. the immediate economic consequence of this depreciation and cost is an increase in return on investment. particularly when tied to the fact you can exploit people in dozens of injuries. in the old law, roughly 20% average annual return on investment. today, 300% sein or more. but sex trafficking, it is more than that -- today, 300% or more. with sex trafficking, it is more than that. today, it could be a year or a couple of years. it is much shorter. centuries ago, you could legally own human beings. today you cannot actually legally own human beings.
9:43 pm
but people tend to exact the same kind of exploitation regardless. i have already used a lot of terms and had not really told you what they mean. the reason for that is some of these terms, most of them remain unclear. there is debate whether you talk to prosecutors, law enforcement, people in the international arena, as to what slavery means and forced labor and him and trafficking. it depends on your asking and where you are in the world. early definitions of slavery focus on the right of ownership. we are familiar with the 1926 league of nations slavery invented. i have the definitions here. you can look them up on line. basically, focusing on actual power to exert over someone based on owning them.
9:44 pm
as i said, these legal rights to not exist. so what is slavery today? across the last several decades, definitions of slavery have focused on conditions similar to those existed when there were legal rights of slavery. namely the coercion of involuntary labor services and the absence of a person's freedom of movement and employment. there is a spectrum of what that absence means and that is when it dips down to how restrictive or liberal you want to be on things like coercion and restriction of liberty billy meehan. a key consideration for these definitions have to do with the extent you require. depending on where you are or who you are talking to, the extent will pepper. the greater the extent of course required, the narrower the definition. in many cases, the parlor forced
9:45 pm
labor has been used in place of slavery. -- the term forced labor has been used in place of slavery. exacting a similar type of exploitation. there's still debate as to what is the right term, and the more responsible term. them get to the term he and trafficking -- then we get to the term human trafficking. the definition will so much defer. i put the standard -- for example, the last couple words includes the removal of organs. some countries do not include organs. we do not include them here. other countries also do not. some countries will include things like forced marriage.
9:46 pm
other countries do not. depending on where you are, the definition of what human trafficking will somewhat different. i just want to unpack this definition a bit and give you the essence of what all that is. to you have a concept. -- so you have a concept. the first is recruiting, harboring, or moving. it has to occur through a particular means. forest product coercion. then before a particular service our purpose. -- then be for a particular purpose. people who are recruited and transported in a condition of exploitation. trying to define slavery and the contemporary context, we have to get clear on what the essence of these modern forms of slavery is. i posed some questions for us to consider.
9:47 pm
is the slavery some degree of restrictions on liberty coupled with severe course and a labor or services? is that the just? is it something more conceptual, the denial of the freedom and humanity of an individual to invent the exploiters interest. is that what we mean of talk about slavery? one thing is clear, a decision needs to be made as to whether the terms slavery should be restricted to mean just cattle slavery. or whether we can take this term and adapted to the modern context. and he's a for the broader array of conditions we see in the modern era. these are some of the pivotal
9:48 pm
questions many colleagues -- scholars are working with. without a clarity of definition, efforts to understand and research and quantify slavery i think will remain minimally affected. a few more considerations. when we talk about slavery, and we have to remember this is not just an academic exercise. there are real people suffering real and her affect exploitation each and every day. our ability to identify, protect, and empower these individuals will be tied to the nature and precision above definition. if the definition is not clear, we cannot clearly identify people. or punish the exploiters. the more narrow the definition,
9:49 pm
that you are people who can clot -- qualify. the broader, the more protected we can be. there is a delicate balance here still being worked out in the community. as to the pure academic rigor and wanting to be narrow and precise and human-rights implications. this tension is an important engine and one that still has to work itself out. there is one falsehood of to clarify. whatever definition you use, there are not more slate today than any point in human history. when people say this, they tend to be comparing of lives around the world today or they are using different definitions. the use a broad definition of slavery that includes bonded labor with the only account cattle slaves from the past.
9:50 pm
there were multiples of that number of people caught. we have to compare all the same forms of slavery past and present. if we only count cattle and the past, then today is close to zero. if we count bonded labor, there were tens of millions of the past of not more. having said this, it is important to note slavery is a legal and morally unacceptable today which has not been the case for the majority of human history. the existence of whatever #a slate today -- whatever number of slaves to represents -- i will not go into the specific definition i used. it will take too much time to go into the nuances and footnotes but basically you have a sense i'm marking on a definition that has to do with restrictions of
9:51 pm
liberty, according of labor and service. i have been gathering data through random sampling for more than a decade. i take my definition and my most current book and i say if we construe this problem, the numbers will look like this. if we are more narrow and what we mean by terms like coercion and restrictions of liberty, the next slide shows you those numbers. with 95% confidence, i can tell you the number of slaves in the world at the end of last year is between 28.4 and 32.6. you can divide slaves into different buckets. these other ones i have identified. the mean is broadly 30.5 million. if you go restrictive and eliminate certain things like seasonal debt bondage as certain
9:52 pm
forms of trafficking where it is not clear a person is under the same level of the arrest and corrigan as some of the office scenarios -- arrest and coer sion as some of the official scenarios. this is the argument we have to recognize. the numbers drop and your mean of the confidence is 22.4 million at the end of last year. by my calculation, i think there is somewhere between 22 and 30 million people caught in these three forms of slavery. that does not mean i'm right. that is based on my data set and extrapolation models which are open for critique. to understand slavery, we need to understand what are the forces promoting this system. the forces that are causing their to be slaves in the world.
9:53 pm
you can divide these into forces that promote a supply a potential slaves and the demand side. those that promote the demand for potential slave labor. assessing these forces will help us understand how we might better defined slavery and attack the problem. these forces have remained similar across history. they fluctuate in terms of what might be the most important force or what the scale may be but they are similar. obviously property is an important factor. roughly 40% of the planet lives on an income of less than $2.50 a day. this is -- a latte at starbucks is more than this. this is the daily income of four out of 10 people in the world. if you do calculations, it is not enough for a shelter, food, fuel, etc.
9:54 pm
they are perpetually in come deficient. other forces, lack of access to form a credit markets. we can get to a bank but many credit. many people cannot do that to the cook to informal markets where they are often than exploited. social instability, military complex -- conflict, disaster climate change -- you get the picture. these render people vulnerable to be potentially exploited. supply-sider forces. on the demand side, the specific forces of demand will vary depending on what kind of industry we are talking about. with commercial sex, there is a demand related to mail the man to purchase commercial sex.
9:55 pm
there are is in -- always to forces that exist. that is they demand to maximize profits and consumer demand. to buy things at the lowest possible retell price. let me unpack those. for almost any business, labor is usually the highest it's not one of the highest cost opponents to their operating expenses. producers have tried to minimize labor costs. slavery is the extreme of this. let's eliminate are virtually eliminate labor costs. slavery and flake exploitation of fourth and the cost of labor
9:56 pm
drastically lowering your operating expenses allows you to do one other thing. you can become more competitive by lowering the price of whatever it is you are selling. this element is one of the most important differences between the logic of old world slavery and the contemporary manifestation of slavery which is the globalization of competition. what does that mean? if you consider the retail price of the things we buy, the price of any products or services is largely determined by the things i've outlined here. if you strip a major cost -- upon it out of the model, producers can finally balance their desire to boost their profits and lower the price of whatever they are selling to boost consumption or competitiveness. this is what is called the price
9:57 pm
elasticity of demand. depending on the kind of products you are selling, the federation can be very high or low. in general, consumers will almost always preferred a lower- priced version of the same thing where all the other variables like quality are the same. producers try to compete with each other by minimizing price. a very effective way to minimize price of attending profitability, and other imperative in the catholic marketing economy, is to exploit labor. in a globalized economy, the need to be price competitive is greater than ever. since transportation costs have dropped in the last 90 years and x put the labor can be used, the entire world is in competition in a way never like
9:58 pm
before. slavery has evolved from the old world into the allies broke as a primary way in which unscrupulous producers compete to advance profits while maximizing price competitiveness. to take all this theoretical jargon into a specific example you will be familiar with, take a apples and your iphones. they have 700,000 manufacturing jobs in china. the daily wage average, someone can correct me, but the folksmaking these phones -- they make around $2 or $3 an hour. people ask why doesn't apple move the jobs here? you cannot find anyone here legally whose income would max out at $3.
9:59 pm
and transportation is so inexpensive, they commit them over here and ship -- make them over there and ship them here. they are not involved in slavery but i'm giving you the sense of sourcing of labor are round the world and the stream child labor, forced labor an-- and the extreme child labor, forced labor. we have the understanding of slavrery in the modern context. how we attack it based on this economic profile? understanding the key shift in the logic of contemporary forms of slavery point as to assert a kind of tactics and policies that might prove more affected. one would be attacked the profits generated by the exploitation. make it less profitable and rewarding to be involved in the exploitation of child laborers,
10:00 pm
slaves, etc. these products are coming from over there -- understand, document, and cleanse the supply chains. and raise awareness of the perils and buyout -- involved in the global supply chain to make choices to products that are >> in other words we want to use the market forces to attack the economic market of modern day slavery. so i mention supply chains and this is an interesting topic and it is getting more attention in the antislavery community. understanding the supply chains of everything we buy and consume every day. in the course of my research traced and documented the many
10:01 pm
things we buy here today on the far side of the world. frozen shrimp, coffee, etc. it is important to note that these corrupted and tapetsed supply changes are not one time events but they create a cycle of vulnerability. when you are exploiting labor on the far side of the world you imperil those local communities by suppressing economy, destabilizing the local economy and you create a cycle of voluntarilier inability. when you are exploiting children or labor on the far side of the world. so i mentioned a few, i'm going to give you an example of shrimp. i spent about a month in bangladesh a couple of months ago documenting the frozen shrimp supply chain. it is a manageable, relatively
10:02 pm
small exporter of splimp compared to champion, taiwan, and vietnam. there is a couple of key steps. first is catching shrimp. this is done at the tip of the bangladesh and this is mostly done by children. some of them have boats and they catch them with nets most of them wade into the water and they spend the day in these muddy waters, catching these baby splimp. there is nothing else they can do. the baby shrimp has to grow into big shrimp. many of these shrimp farms that are expanding, many of them are -- landowners have this land,
10:03 pm
they displaced many workers, transformed the land into shrimp farming and farmers take out loans to lease the land. so there is debt bondage in the harvesting scenario. the next is processing. the shrimp is taken to processing plants so they are devained and then frozen for shipment. there is a lot of rumors of forced labor in the processing plants but i was turned away at gunpoint, and not small guns at every single processing plant i went to. violently in some cases except for one, that one was ok. the wages were kind of low but there was no severe forced labor going on. i got a sense on how it was done. i couldn't quan fie the processing stage to say so much is tapetsed by forced labor. what i was able to do in tracing
10:04 pm
the supply chain is quantity fie the ratio of global splimp that will be tapetted by child labor or bonded labor. that is one out of 57 shrimp. so one out of 57 shrimp in the world is tapetsed by forced labor. it will also go lower when you add vietnam, champion. i can't stress enough about the meticulous data. what does that mean? it means every american eats one to three pieces of shrimp a year, tapetsed. this is kind of the work that is happening now. i encourage you young people to be a part of this and run out there and trace these supply chains. it is important if we're going to tackle modern forms of child
10:05 pm
labor. one final exercise i -- i always run over on my time. i want to get specific. i've been theetret cal all morning. i gave one specific example of the shrimp supply chain. i want to say to that the entire logic and reasoning of why that shrimp exists in bangladesh, it is only 18 years old and that is because of climate change. rising sea levels and then the landowners realize that shrimp is less labor intensive than rice. if you have tried to plant rise before it takes a lot of people. all right, so we talked about the past, and the present so i want to get specific and look at a case study. this will illustrate many of the points i have tried to discuss. this case study will be the
10:06 pm
oldest which is still persisting today then is bonded labor. so bonded labor, how did it work in centuries past? well, i provide an overview in my new book that just came out, i hope you guys get a chance to read it and send me your feedback. it is based on a credit labor agreement. what that means is in the past you had large numbers of landless pee zandted. so they had to borter their labor as a means of survival. these lasted for the lifetime. it was previous lepts around the world, all over the world. the manifestations in the old world was as cruel and exploy tive as any in the slavery and it involved just out right
10:07 pm
exploitation. this was largely around the world because of social revolution except for one region . you could still find bonded agreements everywhere but it is concentrated in south asia. now why the persist answer in south asia? itouched on this earlier the british period reinforced and expanned bonded labor in south asia. it was specifically excluded from 1833 in england and that allowed india to be a replacement source of slaves. to provide legitimacy, bonded agreements were used in place of exchange for deeds of sales of human beings. bonded labor became legally
10:08 pm
enforcible under the workman breach of contract at of 1859. this made it ano phones to breach a contract. you can imagine that offers offering you a bonded contract, i will give you a loan, i will take you to jamaica, we're going to put you to work and once you are there it was serve va attitude. if you break the agreement, the penalty was this, this, and this. so it became legally enforcible. there were broader policies that further expanded that policy. it was in 1873 which was nothing short of dispossessing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pee zandts and then immediately putting them in bondage. so the british empire became
10:09 pm
filled with millions of slave that were kept in child-like conditions. 1947, bonded labor persists because of poverty, corruption, and these other forces that we've talked about on the supply side in addition to very the remanence of a rigid cast system. on the demand side, the global economy feeds and promotes under regulator labor markets. how has the system changed in modern tames? is it the same? and whats out the us that has changed in slavery? is bonded labor slavery? i say yes but some will ask that question. here are some examples of bonded labors i've documented. i won't give you all the case studies but basically, this gentleman in pakistan i documented millions of south
10:10 pm
asians were involved in making and building bricks he is caught in a life cycle of bondage that started with a small loan. it does not matter how hard he works he will never get out of it. bondage is often used in carpet waving in south asia. here some children i documented in that pal. anyone under 18 should not be waving carpets these kids were all 11, 12, 13. they worked 16, 17 hours a day. these are the carpets that are exported to the u.s. and put in our sitting rooms. this is often the production environment. a local product type of south asia cigarette. a hurricane in 2009 wiped out a
10:11 pm
large swath of southeastern ban gal and the land owners came in and said we will rebuild your home but in exchange for that you have to do this. so they don't get a wage they get a roof. this is a raw tobaccos going into the hands of children. ing a culture is another one. often seasonal contracts they will go between agriculture and carpets dependsing to season. because of the seasonal jumping around and entering into these bondage agreements these are voluntary so i don't know if they count as slavery or forced labor. stone breaking is another big one that has been going on for generations and generations it feeds in the construction industry. they were subject of the second
10:12 pm
supreme court case on bonded labor in india. 1983 case, someone brought a claim under the bonded labor act in india which was passed in 1976. i went to the same one three decades later and many of the same conditions still exist even though the support of india issued an indictment against bonded labor. it still exists. it has become less of a system of lifetime serve va attitude. you can still find that but it is less a system of today than it was in the past. it is now more of a seasonal concept. it is a vehicle that is used globally. it is used in domestic work and construction.
10:13 pm
he could not pay that $5,000 it was given to him as credit, he worked for seven months, and then sent back. never had a penny. in other words, this phenomenon has become more nimble, and a more invariegated in nature. it is difficult sometimes to identify if something is a pure debt bondage agreement -- a bonded labor scenario or it is a legitimate contract labor. it is very challenging. in fact, exploiters utilize the tactics, they know the law. they will utilize tactics to make it more difficult that guy is exploiting bonded labor and of course, their power and influence to intimidate people to have them say i'm doing this by choice.
10:14 pm
they say it must be called voluntary i don't agree with this so it is not slavery. this question is at the heart of what slavery is in the modern context. it forces us to consider the question of whether a there is a lack of reasonable alternative that can be forced as coercion to be considered as slavery. when i give you that high number that includes a yes answer to this question. if there is no reasonable sustained and security income source that is for the reason that someone enters into an agreement to western europe to engage in a, b, or c, or someone that enters into a bonded labor agreement. if it is because there was not a reasonable alternative, the alternative was worse then i think it does qualify as a sufficient form of coercion to say that is not a volturi
10:15 pm
agreement. -- voluntarily agreement. but economists will argue against that. depending on how you answer this question, the quantum of modern slavery is going to fluctuate quite significantly, up to 50%. this is at the heart of what is or is not modern day slavery. whether we consider this sufficient. more on the contemporary manifestation. i believe the same characteristics is what we see when we sample various forms of what we call slavery around the world today. it is more nimble, it is very, very investigated. all forms and modes, all evolving forms and mode of having slave-like transportation. very easy to identify these things.
10:16 pm
it does not work like that anywhere. exploiters use tactics that will help them avoid identification. the phenomenon cons to evolve that continues to be one step ahead, every time we step up with what is happening today, the trafficers have moved on to the next phase on how to get away with it. so treating it with something simplistic i believe is going to -- it the question must be ask again what is slavery, what is not? i think a more set of definitions is required, in particular, the definition must not stretch the boundaries of the concept but it must be nuanced to capture what we need to call slavery today. it must move on to those who use
10:17 pm
this term carelessly and even the general public perceiving this issue is under analyzed or not yet a mature movement. a heavy premium should be placed on research to quan fie and guide policy. i said i would look to the future, i'm going to prognosticate with my magic crystal ball. what will slavery look like in the years to come? it will be here so what will it look like? i think it will continue to evolve and continue to evade simple definition and analysis. this puts a preyum on a new assessment on what it is today. so we hopefully won't have to rewrite our definitions and laws. in particular, exploiters, and i talked to them about this they have become inepts to able to exploit slaves.
10:18 pm
another key point is a the line between severe sloif is going to blur. what i mean by that, there is a spectrum of what i call labor exploitation. it could be child labor or low-wage labor, on some point on that spem truck you cross the line on slavery. that line is blurry now and it is going to get more blurry. labor markets will continue to be sourced by the global market for profit. there is no way around this. this means raising this alone will fail to tackle the issue if it is not supplemented the issue if it is traced what is going on particularly by a supply chain standpoint. each sector in this movement, all of you belong to some sector of this movement in parties interest in slavery.
10:19 pm
or have important efforts to play in the future. i'm going to tell you what those efforts should be. i think we in the academic sector should lead the field with policy recommendations especially relating to issues in definitions and supply chains. n.g.o.'s should guidance from scholars. governments need to allocate more resources and eret enforcements that are designed to dismantling servitude while helping the survivors. if we're doing a poor job of understanding and tackling slavery we're doing a pathetic job in empowerering those of the exploitation. international stakeholders have to under take similar efforts but with their focus on
10:20 pm
transnational transportation. every day citizens have to organize in more effective social movements. also shift the products that one day will be cleansed and certified as being untainlted. charitable foundations have to continue providing resources for research as well as service for resources between governments and academia. so final word, servitude will continue to be in the future, whether some, all, or none of these can be called i slavery or will be called slavery must be tackled. must has changed with slavery but aznar a tives much is till the same. at one level the lines between
10:21 pm
forced labor, debt bondage are vital to understand if we're going to properly tackle these issues. at another level, getting so specific loses its fruitfulness. no matter what, these are unacceptable modes of exploitation that should no longer be apart of the human condition in any scenario. there is space for new leadership to spear head these efforts. i hope one of you or many of you will fill that space. it is wide open for new leaders to take the mantle of moving this academic and activist movement forward. it is my hope that someone here will be that person, will be inspired after this weekend to say i'm going to be the one to organize all of us and lead us into a new and more effective era of tackling and erraticing sloif.
10:22 pm
thanks. [applause] >> questions, but please make sure you wait for the microphone. >> anyone standing on the aisles there are seats down here if you want to come down. let's open this up to questions. i wanted to say i had a sudden flash it could be 1810 and we could be in a huge english church, without slides. he could tell us more about this at the gathering of his time. i have many things i would like to say but let's go to the audience. >> i want to make a distirchings between the old slaveries and the newbie saying that in a
10:23 pm
sense market globalization transformed and made the old slavery disappear. do you have any instant of cases in which that old slavery disappeared because the producers, the purchases of that labor decided that slavery was less expensive than these new forms? brazil, u.s., britain, france, spain. >> a very interesting question. i think my first response would be to say i'm not sure so much that all forms of slavery disappeared as so much evolved in transition. obviously, there were laws passed that made a certain thing illegal.
10:24 pm
from a paper law stand point certain things disappeared. but the case of bonded labor it showed that things did not disappear but adapt to a different set of laws and climate. then evolved around those hurdles to continue to effect the same kind of mode of exi ployation. as to whether f there was a point in the past where producers were faced with a scenario where one set of nonslave-like labor bake more economic efficient there are certainly few instances. i think the historians here would probably have those more in their head than i do. particularly in case where is laws with penalties were perceived to be enforced. then the perception is that form of exploitation is no longer
10:25 pm
beneficial. we either have to evade it and try to do something similar or adopt for legitimate labor and labor costs. >> my hypothesis might be if slave owners held on to that system as long as they could. only to adopt under the pressure of those laws and made the transition only under that coercion and duress. >> i think you are exactly right. this is an example of radical social change that happens under top-down pressure. sometimes it happens by movements like civil rights moment or right to vote for women in this country and sometimes it has to come from topdown change. when that topdown change is perceived to be efficiently enforced, then the exploiter has to adapt. what you see with forms of slavery today there are laws,
10:26 pm
there are penalties. by in large they are not perceived to be effectively active and enforced so the exploiter does not have to adapt too much or adapt just enough to avoid identification. >> thank you for a stimulating presentation. i want to get your reaction to the idea in general terms that maybe the diagnosis is only as good as the remedy it prescribes. in a particular way of asking that question, i would like to hear you say what your study on the shrimp supply chain suggests about an appropriate remedy for the exploitation that we're seeing there. and secondly, in more conceptual
10:27 pm
terms, all related to remedies. if you excuse me asking more than one question relating to different parts of your presentation. secondly, whether in conceptual terms it might not make more sense to draw a line between slavery and other forms of severe exploitation as to where the line it makes sense to separate the slave from her exploiter. if there are situations that it makes more sense to seek a higher wage for the person in the employment that they are carrying out so have their children go to school instead of having them in the fields. if it makes more sense for it to call it something other than slavery. the remedy has to be to separate the slaves from the slave
10:28 pm
holder. >> very interesting points. the first one is quite crucial. i've given you an analysis and arguments and in my book i give specifics based on my arguments. but as the gentleman pointed out until we know if the recommendations are working we don't know the basis of your analysis. say you take my recommendations and you do them full throttle and nothing changes. maybe my analysis isn't so good. maybe approaching this from an economic stand point isn't the right way. we need to deploy test beds where we deploy certain types of tactics and measure them. i think that feedback will tell us what kind of approaches that
10:29 pm
might prove more effective. it will be a balance between the law enforcement -- pure law enforcement and criminal law approach with the global economic approach and of course, the human right ace approach. all of which suggest slightly different kinds of approaches and tactics and priorities. but we have to test and we have to find out. i feel good about what i've done and i think if we try some of these tactics some might work quite well, some maybe not so well. what i hope to do in my future work is some of these test bed ideas. different types of slavery or labor exploitation has to be tackled differently. in some cases, it could be a matter of the most important imperative particularly if you're coming from the human right stand point is to separate the human rights victim from the exploiter. in other scenarios it could be
10:30 pm
to provide that reasonable alternative or try to empower the person where they are with education, food, health care, etc. i think it really depends on what kind of servitude we're talking about and where we are in the world. in the end, it could be an interesting line to draw. to say, when we're faced with a scenario that has to be separated or extracted, immediately because of the horrific pearl they are in, maybe we find a way of defining that as slavery. my fear is that there is always scenarios where you don't necessarily have to do that but it is the level of exploitation and sometimes that immediate extrax while necessary could cause more harm than good if done too quickly. i would not want to disqualify those as a result. it is have interesting. i could go on and on. >> you don't have to get up in the aisle, we could bring the
10:31 pm
mics to you. >> joe cook. i appreciate the value of an economic analysis but i can't help but feel it would be useful to help with an explain tory model. slaveries were symbols of consumption, they were for reproduction, they were entitled toward fair, they were used to sacrifices. it seems to me that a generalized model that has the economic patent is going to have a harder time with forced marriage, slavery and war, and various other things. i don't mean it suicide a criticism but to say you can't say everything you want to say. but what about the noneconomic component in how we think and
10:32 pm
respond to slavery? >> i think your point is well taken. i couldn't agree more. i think understanding the evolution of the economic logic of most forms of slavery in the world today is important in terms of how we design our laws in the big picture. these are also fundamental human rights and human dignity. that is an important threat in all the work i do. my books are much more about sharing the human narrative with little on the front end and back end on the economics. at yale university i went more scholarly with you. i came across in nigeria something i could not imagine seeing. i could not have imagined it but if i did imagine it i didn't
10:33 pm
think i would see it. there was a baby factory. these were young women from nigeria who had been tricked in and brought in to this apartment. they were kept there and they were forceiblely impregnated. had the babies and those babies had two outcomes, one was international adoption and the other was used in voodoo rituals. there is no way to tackle this from an economic stand point. it is useless. it is fundamental horrific. how do you deal with that? well, i mean, the one economic component these women are facing such horrific poverty that they are desperate for any offer,
10:34 pm
doesn't matter who it is or what it is. they did not sign up for that but they will take whatever offer you give them and go with you. at the end of the day, this is outright unimaginable. do we call that slavery? i take you point and i agree with you. we have to attend to the human dignity and the afront on human dignity that these offenses entail. but the ones that guide the most effective policy. >> i see six, seven, hands. >> this is an interesting thread that i wanted to jump in on. what occurs to me there are a number of parts to my question. number one is how would a gender analysis of your particular
10:35 pm
theme might bring us away to separate out or to highlight some peculiar forms, just as you mentioned where women are exploited. simply looking outside the united states may not make -- may not be as complete as possible because of -- for example your description of forced labor would include prostituted in the inner city where pimps are acting as your definition of slave owners. how do you respond to models like that? >> well, some people would argue that sex workers or prostitutes in the inner cities are victims of sex trafficking and others would argue they are not. it gets to that issue i put my finger on in terms of what
10:36 pm
constituteso kergs and involuntary labor? what is the alternative? then you deal with things like coercion doesn't just involve -- it is taking control over someone. i saw voodoo priests where they took over women and put a curse over them. never go to the police, and never do this, and they had great terror. i went to his shrine and he had photographs on the wall outside of the deformed women he cursed for breaking the rules. i spent 15 minutes with this guy, it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.
10:37 pm
i have been shot at and this does not compare of being in the same room with this guy. there is no way to escape the fact that gender is pivotal to these issues. almost everywhere you go in the world, belonging to female gender is going to put you at significant disadvantages in terms of rights, education, etc. when you are facing those disadvantage and layering on top of that poverty, and you are vulnerable to being trafficed or exploited. sex trafficking affects women but so does other form of trafficking and servitude. women and children are the most vulnerable and when off minority female, then you have the double whammy. these people are helpless at
10:38 pm
their faiths. you might say tell them don't take the offer. raise awareness. when you go to the buynies and you try to do this the response you get is -- it can't be worse than this. the lives they are facing of being sexually abused, living in poverty, having no rights, their alternative is so bad they will take whatever hopeful offer they can. the gender lens is very important. >> david, can you bring the mic down here? we have a lot of hands, folks. >> thank you very much. thank you for your thoughtful and touching presentation. i was wondering in your recommendation through your fight against modern slavery you
10:39 pm
could include something about -- i'm going to explain why. you mention in your presentation the impact of climate change in bangladesh. you also mention in the modern advantages you left out the cost of transportation and you mentioned the cost of transportation has been reduced tremendously in the last 100 years because of fossil fuels. so these fossil fuels on the one hand enable the exploit of slavery to places where, you know, it is easier to exploit people but it also contributes to climate change. so raising a tax on fossil fuels would be a way to reduce this exposure to climate change and to raise money to fight slavery, for example. >> well, i hadn't thought of that.
10:40 pm
[laughter] i think that is a good thing. meaning, i'm excited about the fact that there is innovative and interesting ideas in the room. i hope to hear more of them. it is a daring question. you are absolutely right. fossil fuels and modern transportation contribute to the ease in moving people. many of them just move by foot and other things but it also contributes to climate change. i'm not sure what the political implications would be to someone who makes this proposal. i think it would be a challenge for someone to successfully get a tax like that implemented but the idea, the concept of putting a tax or a price premium on something, some commondy as a way to fund human rights effort in general, whatever they might
10:41 pm
be. that is an interesting idea. how many of us would be willing to add 5%, 3% to the things we buy if we knew it was going into human rights activity to funding that? i would do that, some people wouldn't for economic reasons and that is ok. but that is a bold and interesting idea and climate change is at the heart of a lot of instances displacement and doffers that result in population displacement. it leaves people vulnerable not to just slavery but all kinds of things. it sounds like you are down the path to good efforts in this area so i look to seeing more. >> seem people would call that tax slavery which some already call taxes and debt but that is a different matter. i have a lot of hands so let's
10:42 pm
keep going. >> first of all, i think you brought some great insight into the contemporary problem of slavery. i had a couple of concerns, first of all, maybe this is somewhat representative of what you said, but the slavery movement is a bit uncomfortable with giving that any academic is going to be focused on one particular interest. let alone the struggle that it is waging. but i think one of the things that was absent from your analysis is the idea of slaves having their own freedom and if you look at the history of india much of antislavery legislation
10:43 pm
has been a result not from anybody on the outside but the bondage slaves saying they want something better. i think when we're getting into -- if you think of the state of india it becomes another set of complexity around them. first there is a question of rauloff government. there has been important legislation brought in by the union of india and we've seen more eradicate these problems. it seems to be a failure of government. is tecked thing you did mention but you did not highlight, when we're talking about india the fundamental issues is cast, it is the vast majority that are in slaves are in low cast or minority groups.
10:44 pm
this is the idea of people not wanting to let go of slavery because of the privileges it gives them. when we're trying to think about political engagement of our country and support of the grass roots movement off slaves we see a more complex and difficult process which is one which is, in fact, which is not eliminated by human rights or other sorts of lenses but which need be looked at by a social lens in the terms of social movement building. i think that is someone missing from your analysis but no more academic can say everything in a limited period of time. >> thank you for those points. they are all well-taken. i do spent quite a bit of my book on caste.
10:45 pm
there are disenfranchised groups but tribes in thailand and burma for example, certain ethnic groups in africa. you can go down the list. there is always a class who are at the fringes and have historically been at the fringes sometimes in slavery or in other bad conditions. so it is fundamental and i go into that in more detail in my book. it does require -- not a simple but it does require something different which is social transformation. you can't economically argue away that issue. you can't criminal law your way out of that issue. it requires radical social transformation which will take time. better efforts, new efforts, i
10:46 pm
gave new ideas in my book that will help this caste issue needs to be undertaken. by in large, the people at the bottom of the pyramid are at the low caste. again, i completely agree, the first thing i do is hear about what is being exploited is saying. this is why i have so many case studies now. what are their pains? what do they want? it is useless to try to work with a population without hearing from them directly, what do they need? what are their priorities? if it is freedom and liberation, what does it mean to them? it could mean something different to me than it does for me. it could be more simple. so hearing those voices and working that into our approach with policy and law and the
10:47 pm
efforts it is very important. i couldn't agree more. having said that they do need topdown assistance. there needs to be work and pressure coming from above to help them realize that liberation and sustain it so they don't slip back into it because of vulnerability. that needs to come from governments and government structures. i think the first one, the leadership of academia. i think what i'm focusing on here is we're at this moment, we've been trudging through this moment in the movement of some time -- for some time of what is this thing? how do we define it? how do we identify it? how do we quantity fie it? i think we're trudging through that and those answers come out of research.
10:48 pm
and researchers always have to work with n.g.o.'s because those are the ones on the ground with the local relations and knowledge and understanding to allow research to be done effectively and ethically. i think the leadership has to get us over the hurdle, what is this thing, how do we define it? how do we trace it? based on that knowledge we have an array of stakeholders that come in and how do we tackle it? everywhere i go i relate to n.g.o.'s who know more about it than i ever could. >> let's go to this gentleman right here. ok. we're going to take a few more. >> i look at the u.s. state department reports on human trafficking. it's going in every country in the world from a to z.
10:49 pm
they talk about the transportation of men, women, and children. specifically they talk about the sex trade. so do you have some kind of break down of percentage of women, the percentage of that type of sex slavery versus labor or production or whatever? and is sex slavery a lost cause? >> ok, two very different questions. the first one, yes, do have a break down. it was in the charts in terms of people who were trafficking for sex -- i forget my own numbers. it is kind of like 55/40, 60/ 45 something like that. it is in my book as well.
10:50 pm
based on my sampling and that is globally. so region to region the numbers could fluctuate quite a bit from there. is sex slavery a lost cause? i assume you men by trying to tackle it. i don't think so. look, to her point about gender, this is an a fight that has been fought for centuries, empowerment and protection of female gender. that movement has come a long way but a long way to go. ok, in all developed economies there is still asymmetries. when you get out to the rural parts of the country, those imbalances are still there. they feed into people why males think that women can be
10:51 pm
exploited. that will take time. we've come a long way so i'm not filled with hopelessness. i think we can overcome this. in certain parts of the world i think it will take a little longer. i think if there is a enough people in this cause i think we'll succeed. >> robert you are next. >> one of the most interesting things to me about this field is that we've been using the same number to measure the scope of the problem 27 million in slaves for the last 15 years and it is supposed to be -- i don't know if it's been 15 years but it has been a lot of years to measure the fastest growing illegal system of the world. in the first few pages in the forward of your book you say what we need to do is define
10:52 pm
what slavery is and you say how do we quantity fie what slavery is? doesn't that undermine all of your conclusions on what the scope of sloifer is and when do we get to that? when do we begin to start defining what slavery is and how are we going to quantity fie it? >> i do offer my definition. it is a slightly different definition than my second book. that definition has changed because of my own thinking and evolution and research has expanded or at alternatived my definition. it is based on my definition that i offer numbers. that is direct data sampling. i have counted and i have hired other people to help me count around the world. i'm the only one that has done
10:53 pm
primary data gathering. they have done a wonderful job on producing what is a reliable da tap ta. it has not changed in a long time, i don't know what it consists of or where it came from. i don't think that is a academically strong number. i agree, it hasn't changed and we're not sure what it consists of and how it was calculated. it tells us how they have done their work and i helped to advise on that. in my footnotes i provide specifics on how i did my data sampling and how it has changed. but it is a model that has to have assumptions. we can't count everybody but counting is important. being transparent about methodology. and how numbers are changing and growing and going the other way if that is the case is also
10:54 pm
important. i think there are a lot of numbers out there for better or worse. the u.n. has some, others have some and i think we have to be very rig recess about screwty nicing where did it come from? has that been published or made transparent? how are the numbers being updated and changed? what goes into the number? what kinds of slaves? they are not all just slaves, right? they are various kinds of slavery so what goes into the number? i try to do that for what it is worth. but governments and the u.n. probably has to take this on and do broad sampling. take a hybrid of what i did and scale it up. just putting numbers and not saying how i calculated? being transparent, describing
10:55 pm
the detail, that is not going to help us and that is why some people question the validity of our research and that is not helpful to any of us. >> can we take a student question? >> recently i've been studying about the dynasty and we were looking at how, like you were saying, there was different standards because the economy was moving higher up in positions. what point do you think that shifted again to bringing more slavery into the coming years? >> ok, say that one more time. are you asking me to comment on the dynasty? >> no, comment on what point do you think there was a shift, originally during the dynasty commoners were reaching high herb positions and --
10:56 pm
>> when we might see something like that today? that is perceptive and interesting question. it speaks to human development and this is a big term that is thrown out at the u.n. and all people focus on economic development and human development. you're talking about people moving up the economic ladder. when they get to a point where they have a sufficient level of income where they can save money that they can use when there is a crisis and they can afford medicines they are not as vulnerable as being exploited. that is a fundamental imperative. i mean for many reasons to help lift these 40% of the planet that is in poverty higher up on the economic ladder. they are less vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation including being trafficed. you see some of that but we
10:57 pm
still have 2.5 billion people in provet. not all of them being exploited but they are being vulnerable. >> you guys go deep. right back here. can we get the mic? thanks. i'm going to take two more questions then we have to break, folks. >> i think you said that in global supply chains slave labor show uses up in supply chains, the more elastic demand is the more likely there is a slave chain in that? >> i'm not sure of that correlation. >> my question is, is there any research that slave labor goes down in product change when demand has -- >> that is interesting.
10:58 pm
i haven't sliced my data that way but i have some products that are elastic and some that are not. i'm trying to think offhand, like hand woven carpets are probably elastic and they are pretty expensive. if you add 20% to 30% to the cost then the demand will drop but there is plenty of exploitation in that sector. seafood is more elastic. i mean, the price point is kind of low so percentage pluxations don't hurt too much. you also have child labor and forced labor in that supply chain. but your question bears some kind of slicing of the data and looking at maybe there are differences in the extent to which you find exploitation depend on the consumer elasticity of the product.
10:59 pm
i have not sliced my data that way. but it is an interesting question. >> he will be around all day so hang around. we're going to take one more question before our coffee break. >> thank you for your presentation. my question is a bit of a technical one. we're talking about measuring slaver. you mention that it is a revolve doors these day. i'm interests in seeing not how many slaves are at a gifpble time but in a generation how many will go through slavery. secondry, there is slavery caused by market forces, which is what we talked about but also sloifers that erupts in times of corruption like worlds war two. the modern era ait

tv
Modern- Day Slavery
CSPAN December 8, 2012 9:30pm-11:00pm EST

News/Business. Examining the history of slavery and comparing old-world and modern-day methods. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 15, India 10, Bangladesh 7, South Asia 6, Etc. 5, U.n. 3, U.s. 3, Nigeria 3, England 2, Americas 2, Vietnam 2, Academia 2, Secondly 2, Africa 2, Erraticing Sloif 1, Aznar 1, Exporloitation 1, Mac 1, Starbucks 1, Apple 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 91 (627 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 12/9/2012
Views
101